While it certainly isn’t the right choice for everyone, from the time I knew it existed, I knew I wanted a birth photographer. Many people are curious about my experience. Here are the 5 most common comments I get:
- “I don’t need a bunch of rated X-rated images of my delivery”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions I hear. Birth photography is MORE than the “money shot”. In fact, of the over 200 photos I have, there is only one that is even close to being a “money shot”. A good birth photographer is skilled at making even the most immodest of moments into beautifully artistic images that you can share comfortably with your friends and family.
- “I don’t need to hire someone- I’ll just have my partner take photos”
They’ve got other things to focus on. Like you.
If he’s behind the camera, who is going to capture him supporting you through contractions, the look on his face the first moment he lays eyes on his baby, or the love in his eyes as he counts those fingers and toes for the first time?
Don’t even start me on using your phone’s camera. I’ll admit, phone photos can be beautiful. Those photos, however, are usually staged in great lighting. Do you know what you don’t usually have during delivery….staging or great lighting. Photographers have professional equipment and the creative eye to turn a snapshot into a captured memory.
- “It’s too expensive”
Now you’re speaking my language! I get it. Yes, it can be pricey, but think of what you are getting. You are getting a photographer who is willing to drop whatever, whenever, in order to be there with you for hours (hopefully not too many hours).
Think of what you are giving too:
To your family and friends: the chance to feel like a part of the experience without actually being there.
To your birth team: a professional who is educated about the labor process, knows where to stand (and NOT to stand), and won’t interfere with their very important work. *many hospitals have policies restricting photography or videos during labor, be sure to check ahead of time*
To your partner: a chance to be fully focused on you and your new child.
To yourself: beautiful priceless photos on one of the most important days of your life.
- “I don’t want a stranger at my birth”
That’s fair. I didn’t even realize my amazing photographer (Katie from www.joyfulbeginningskc.com) was in the room for most of the labor and delivery.
Finding the right birth photographer is a lot like dating. You need to find someone who not only “clicks” with you, but also has a passion for capturing birth. If they are uncomfortable, you will be uncomfortable.
Be open and honest about your expectations before you book a photographer. It takes a very specific heart, temperament, and personality to be your perfect birth photographer. An amazing photographer is not necessarily an amazing birth photographer.
- “Why would I want a picture of me like THAT?”
During labor you may not feel beautiful. Your hair might be crazy, you’ll probably be sweaty, and you might be in positions that are “unattractive” to put it politely. A great birth photographer can give you the best version of reality.
You’ll meet with your photographer beforehand and decide what kind of images you do and do not want. I would recommend being open minded. This image of me pushing may actually be the least attractive face I’ve ever made.
However, whenever I look at it I feel empowered. It takes me back to that moment.
It reminds me of the intensity. It reminds me of the power of my body. It reminds me how passionately I wanted to meet my son. It tells a story.
In the end, that’s what it’s all about: telling your family’s story from the moment it begins. I got my “money shot”, it just might not be the kind of shot you expected.